Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Oyakodon - or - chicken and egg rice bowl

While I am busy obsessing about cheesecakes involving two and a half pounds of cream cheese ahead of my birthday, I've been cooking 5-minute lunches and dinners. This is one of my mother's favorites, a one-bowl meal full of protein - and costs almost nothing to make! 

I always have eggs in the fridge and some chicken pieces and rice in the freezer so this is usually my choice if I'm out of time and want a quick comforting bite.

The naming of this dish will seem weird if not perverted to you if you are not Japanese. The literal translation of oyakodon would be "parent-child bowl" due to the presence of both chicken and egg in this dish. That admittedly does sound weird in English, and if you can come up with a better naming, I'd be glad to hear it!
Here's the ingredient list (per person)

4 oz (110g) chicken
1/2 a medium or smallish onion
1 large egg
1 scallion for garnish (optional)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar

a bowl of warm rice

Slice the onions into rings a quarter of an inch wide. Slice the chicken into slices of a similar thickness, a bit larger than bite-sized. 

In a small frying pan, pour half a cup of water and add the sugar and soy sauce and warm up over medium heat. Add the onion slices then the chicken, cover and cook until both onions and chicken are cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Taste the sauce and adjust to your liking - some like it saltier, some like it sweeter.

Add the egg to the pan and break the yolk, spreading the whole egg around the pan. You don't have to be too thorough - it doesn't really matter. If your egg is small, you might want to use two. Lower the heat, put the lid on and wait until the egg cooks through.

Some people like their egg more runny, some, like me, prefer it fully cooked. It's up to you, as long as you know your eggs are fresh and safe. 

Over a bowl of steaming rice, spoon the whole omelette-like mass and the sauce. Add a little chopped scallion if you like. In Japan, we usually use mitsuba - a light herb with a green bitterness not unlike celery - but as it is not very common outside Japan, I just add some scallions for color.

Comfort food, Japanese style. Enjoy!


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